- The Los Angeles Rams will be looking to get back into the win column on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts after back-to-back losses. Sunday feels like a turning point in the Rams season as a 1-3 record could make things begin to spiral after winning in Week 1.
According to Draft Kings Sportsbook, the Rams are favored to even their record at 2-2 as they are one-point favorites against Anthony Richardson and the Colts. It’s a winnable game, but the Rams will need to execute to get it done. Here are five keys to victory.
It’s hard to win game by kicking field goals and that’s exactly what the Rams did against the Cincinnati Bengals. Los Angeles was just 1-for-4 in the red zone and they will be going up against a Colts defense that’s done good job this season bending, but not breaking that often.
The Rams need to be able to get into the end zone in this game and force the Colts to play from behind early. Looking at the Baltimore Ravens last week, they kept the Colts in the game with field goals and costly turnovers and paid the price.
Contain Anthony Richardson
Richardson was a full participant in Thursday’s practice, putting him on track to play against the Rams on Sunday. In two games, Richardson has 13 carries for 75 yards running the ball. While the rookie has the arm to win from the pocket, the Rams have to contain him and not allow Richardson to become a dual thr
Anthony Richardson is still the QB8 on the year with 19.8 FPPG despite only playing just 67% of snaps.— Kyle Lindemann (@LuckIsMadeFF) September 20, 2023
Here are both TD runs from the All-22. Second one was so smooth he even faked out the camera man. A-Rich has Top 5 weekly upside and is in your lineup every week. #ForTheShoe pic.twitter.com/ki7IsVaLYO
There’s a good chance that the Colts will look to test the Rams defense on the edges, especially to Michael Hoecht’s side of the field. Hoecht and Young needs to be able to contain the edge and defensive line must have gap discipline.
Get Back to Being Balanced on Offense
In Week 1, the Rams ran the ball 37 times and ran a balanced attack. However, over the last two weeks, the offense has been extremely pass-heavy, getting to a point where it hurt the team on Monday Night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Colts rank 10th in run defense EPA and fourth in run-stop win-rate. However, the Rams need to be able to keep the defense honest. Samson Ebukam and Kwity Paye have been solid rushing off of the edge this season. Ebukam ranks 17th in pass-rush win-rate and the Colts rank eight overall as a team. McVay can’t get one-dimensional on offense, allowing the Colts to focus solely on rushing the passer.
Stay Healthy on the Offensive Line
This is one that seems obvious. However, over the last two weeks, the Rams have had to make changes to the offensive line in-game and at that point is when things have shifted. The Rams actually managed ok in the first half against the Bengals and 49ers. It wasn’t until Joe Noteboom and Alaric Jackson left that the pressure started to get to Matthew Stafford.
The Rams need to be able to start and finish with the same offensive line. As mentioned, Ebukam and Paye are both playing well. If the Rams have to make a change at left tackle again or change things up on the interior, this is a Colts unit that can take advantage.
Don’t Overlook the Colts
Coming into the season, the Colts were likely seen as an easy opponent. However, these are going to be two very evenly matched teams and the Colts are likely ahead of schedule. The defense is playing at a high level under Gus Bradley and Shane Steichen has the offense playing efficient and running the ball well with Zach Moss.
Again, this could be a turning point in the Rams season. It’s hard to call a matchup against an AFC opponent a must-win game. However, if the Rams fall to 1-3, things could begin to spiral. With a game against the Philadelphia Eagles coming up in Week 5, the Rams need to get in the win-column to avoid a potential 1-4 start.